Virtual Knowledge-Building Communities

Virtual Knowledge-Building Communities

Sheizaf Rafaeli (University of Haifa, Israel), Tsahi Hayat (University of Haifa, Israel) and Yaron Ariel (University of Haifa, Israel)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60960-100-3.ch429
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A virtual knowledge-building community is a group of people who collaboratively produce knowledge through an online-mediated environment. The process and means for sharing and producing knowledge in such a community can be described as a place where “knowledge creation is built into the social fabric and into the technologies that support knowledge work” (Scardamalia, 2001). Virtual knowledge-building community is a unique case of a virtual community in which the processes of knowledge building are preformed through interactions between group members. In the early twenty-first century, on the Internet we observe a rapid growth in the number of virtual knowledgebuilding communities. These include joint authoring tools, collaborative tagging arrangements, collective recommendation aggregators, and other creative uses of the Internet. One of the most prominent forms of virtual communities involved in the practice of building knowledge, are the ‘open source’ communities such as the Wikipedia project (Rafaeli, Hayat, & Ariel, 2005).

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